Hart school district receives minimal input at public hearings 


District officials outline plans to electrify bus yard, report on proposed LCAP, increased construction fees 

Four public hearings were held at Wednesday’s William S. Hart Union High School District regarding a range of topics, but only one person in the audience took to the microphone. 

With regard to the district’s wanting to electrify its school bus yard and switch to a fully electric fleet of buses, Diane Zimmerman said the state’s power grid is already overloaded and the district can find a better use of funds. 

“Major automobile manufacturers right now are having huge second thoughts as to producing any more electric vehicles,” Zimmerman said. “Your governor has sold you out completely and is now trying to blame everything on anyone but himself and his shifty cohorts.” 

The district was holding a hearing on granting SoCal Edison an easement and right of way to “construct, use, maintain, operate, alter, add to, repair, replace, reconstruct, inspect and remove electrical supply systems solely for the purpose of providing electrical power to vehicle charging stations,” according to the agenda. 

Mike Otavka, the district’s director of facilities, said this is a standard procedure that is used when working with any utility company. Ralph Peschek, assistant superintendent of business services, said the overwhelming majority of funds for this project would be provided through state grants. 

California legislators have been making a push to cut down on vehicle emissions. In October, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law a target of 2035 for the state to have all school districts have every newly purchased bus be emission-free. Newsom had previously in 2020 signed into law a target of 2045 for all medium and heavy-duty vehicles, such as trucks and buses, to be emission-free. 

The board unanimously approved the easement. 

The district’s bus yard is located at 21429 Centre Point Parkway. 

Hearings were also held on the district’s next local control and accountability plan, or LCAP, the initial proposal from the district for negotiations with the Hart District Teachers Association and increasing residential and commercial construction fees. 

There were no comments from audience members on any of those three topics, though board members had some on the LCAP and the fee increases. 

According to Jan Daisher, director of special programs, the LCAP is used to help the district determine how it will spend funds from the state to service its students. The LCAP uses metrics such as state test scores, with an emphasis on the success of unduplicated students — those who fit into one of the categories of English learners, foster youth, low income or homeless. 

Daisher said the district has 1,300 English learners, 59 foster youth, 6,000 low-income students and 920 homeless students. In total, that represents about 39% of the total population of approximately 21,000 students. 

Not included in the formula for funding but is required to be included in the LCAP is the district’s plan for students with disabilities, of which there are more than 3,000, Daisher said. 

A more complete presentation on the district’s three-year LCAP for the 2024-27 school years is scheduled for the next board meeting on June 26, when a breakdown of the district’s revenues and expenditures will be presented and the board will vote on approving the LCAP. 

The district’s initial proposal for negotiations with the HDTA was acknowledged by the board, though no discussion was had. The district is proposing to negotiate on modifications to the evaluation process, language to ensure effectiveness and efficiency within the transfer process and language to ensure effectiveness and efficiency within the discipline process. 

The district and the union have both agreed to negotiate on class sizes and special education. 

A hearing was also held regarding the increasing of construction fees for new projects. According to the agenda, the Hart district gets a portion of the Level 1 fees imposed on new construction, along with the four elementary feeder districts. 

The new fees, as adjusted by the State Allocation Board, will see residential development fees increase from $4.79 per square foot to $5.17, and commercial and industrial fees will be raised from 78 cents per square foot to 84 cents. 

Jesse Landre, vice president of California Financial Services, said these fee increases have been met with less backlash from developers than in the past, partly due to fees being increased 10 years ago at the outset of a recession and partly due to school district fees being less than what other agencies have imposed. 

The fee increases were approved unanimously. 

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